PositiveFinancial Times (UK)My conclusion: the 1,200-page tome might become even more politically influential than the French economist’s 2013 overview of inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century ... In his overambitious history of inequality from ancient India to today’s US, Piketty recounts the justifications that recur throughout time ... Advocates of inequality will come up with the usual justifications. But now is the redistributionists’ best chance.
Red Card, Ken Bensinger
PositiveThe Financial Times...a series of scandals began unfurling that revealed Fifa to be even more corrupt than many had realised. Most of the executive-committee (Exco) members who voted in Zurich have since been charged or accused by US authorities of criminal wrongdoing, or sanctioned by Fifa’s ethics committee ... in a curious coincidence, the FBI’s initial tipoff came from Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who in 2016 warned the FBI about purported collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign for the US presidency ... one of Bensinger’s best sources, and therefore a hero of this book — discovered that the US Exco member Chuck Blazer had not filed taxes for at least 17 years. The white-bearded Blazer was as greedy as he was obese.
MixedThe Financial TimesRoss Raisin has done his homework so well that I spent much of the novel wondering which club had let him inside the changing-room for a season ... A Natural is a wonderful documentary, but falls slightly short as a novel ... Tom’s struggle with his sexuality is rendered all the more movingly because he is inarticulate. So is almost everyone else in the book...Raisin has deprived his characters of his own power over words. Their tongue-tied speech often attains a poignant beauty, particularly in a very surprising coming-out scene ... the setting is perfectly worked out, albeit often in too much detail, as if Raisin lost control of his research. But this time the characters are underdeveloped. Even Tom always remains slightly out of focus. A Natural works best not as a work of fiction but as a stunning anthropology of professional football.